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Kane and Narelle's Iran Trip - 2013 (Part 1)

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Kane and Narelle's Iran Trip - 2013 (Part 1)

Postby Samaneh » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:05 pm

Iran...nothing but smiles

After a sleepless night at airports we are now in Persia (Iran) a country that intrigues us both.

The plane journey across the gulf from Qatar was rather uncomfortable with the bumps but in the end mans tech beat the weather and i have 3 weeks of no planes to repair those jangled nerves. We got through immigration without to many hassles. The foreigners line at immigration was rather short, just N, myself and a Japanese guy who did not arrange a visa before coming. Needless to say we did not see him after that. Stupid Idiot!!!

A short taxi drive and a tip toe at 4am through 500m of old alleyways found us at a wonderful little guesthouse. We were greeted with a "welcome to Iran" from a fine looking chap.

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We later found out this guesthouse used to b an old printing building.
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Re: Kane and Narelle's Iran Trip - 2013 (Part 1)

Postby Samaneh » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:11 pm

Soaking wet...

First day in Iran was spent mostly indoors...it was rather cool and it absolutely poured down the whole day.

We did venture out to get some essentials and straight away we knew we were somewhere special that not many have come to recently. People were very curious to see us walking down the street. Dripping wet kids on bikes came up to us just to look, some shop keepers and passers by gave us their best hellos in broken English and the women kept an eye on Narelle we presume to see what she was wearing. Most quietly laughed as we walked on by. The older gen, say above 50ish, generally saw us and then did not raise their eyes unless we directly engaged with them. One can only put this down to this gen remembering how Iran was before the west became involved in the 70s and they still hold a 'grudge' against westerners. i don't blame them...Exactly the same happened happen when we visited N Korea in 2007.

As for the money situation its as confusing as hell; 1 means 10000 and 10 mean 1000, 100 also means 10000, 1000 means 100,000...what the? It wont be long before we get ripped off somewhere!!!

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The shops on the streets were full of 'normal' products although it appeared as though the 'named' brands were not part of their selection. Also the cars were quite old and run down...like my white chariot. I presume this is due to the international sanctions Iran is having to deal with...I blame Narelle's sanctions for my car!!!

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Dinner...notice the metal pounder thing. They use this device to mash their soup as they eat it. We had to ask the waiter what it was... He thought it was hilarious and took great delight showing us how it works.
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Re: Kane and Narelle's Iran Trip - 2013 (Part 1)

Postby Samaneh » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:17 pm

Special post

The toilets in Iran seam to have a spillway thing to the right side....we are unable to work out what this passage to "somewhere" does or goes.

I think there must be a booster button somewhere that after a big night on the bread and hummus u push it and the spillway opens up and assists the flushing process!

Interesting, any other informed ideas?


Interesting facts we have learnt


Interesting facts about Iran...

Most people get married between ages of 25 to 30
Average wage is $80 per month
Average rent is $300 per month
Women can be arrested if their head is not covered
A loaf of bread costs 15c
A coke costs 80c
Water costs 60c a L
Women can only swim at designated times
Tea is the main drink
Lamb of beef Kebab and rice is the main lunch and dinner meal
A mobile phone (not smart phone) is about $300
Skype is blocked because the govt believes it takes communication revenue from the country
Facebook twitter and most other social media is banned
Credit cards cannot be used, cash only for us
The weekend is Thursday and Friday
Dinner is about $3 per person
Photos of Martas (fallen soldiers) of Iran's wars are displayed on the flags along the freeways
Buses and taxis need permits to travel beyond city borders
Most cars are Kia or Pergot
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Re: Kane and Narelle's Iran Trip - 2013 (Part 1)

Postby Samaneh » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:24 pm

Two hidden gems...

We ventured out today to two World Heritage sites I never knew existed but in the end were two of the best we have seen anywhere.

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This is the Necropolis which has the tombs of four Persian kings. Notice the people at the base off the mountain. Each tomb is 40m high.

The hundreds upon hundreds of relief carvings in solid granite were in extremely good condition and detailed throughout all of the tombs. There were even faces of Kings that we could recognise.

Then it was a short drive to Persepolis, which is an ancient city of palaces that was totally covered by dust and sand until 1930's and is therefore well preserved.

A 6th century complex that was about 50 football fields in size. Below is one of the palaces.
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Walls upon walls of perfect granite carvings entertained us.

Then it was off to find dinner in the crowded Shiraz bazaar.

We had Afgan pastries for dinner from this guy: potato, cabbage and cheese. $1.10c later we were full.

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Wearing a head scarf takes some getting used to. Am starting to get the hang of it, although I have found myself walking down the street on a couple of occasions and it has slipped off. Hopefully I won't get arrested. The Iranian women make it look so easy. I've resorted to bobby pins to keep it in place. Hopefully I won't have to tie it under my chin like an old lady.
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Re: Kane and Narelle's Iran Trip - 2013 (Part 1)

Postby Samaneh » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:30 pm

My kinda day...

The majority of today was spent walking around Kerman's main business district which allowed for lots of interaction with the locals. Very few travellers come to this part of Iran so we were constantly greeted with broken hellos and every now and again hand shakes and a hand on the heart. This was one of those guys. he insisted I put this photo on Facebook, remember Facebook is off limits here so it is still unique here!

For hours we walked through lots of bazaars that sold everything u could ever imagine! This was the potato shop.
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The guy below was a leather book binder, I have thought this profession went in the 1800s. His work was exquisite.
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This young boy and his brother who sold balloons loved having their photo taken. In return we gave them an ice cream each!
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The Iran butchery was selling goat, lamb and beef today.
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Lunch today: eggplant with whey, chicken kebab, Iranian sticky ice cream and a drink called 'cowslip' (it is herb based but it smelt just like a cow)...yuck!
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I hired a tank for the afternoon...
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Only kidding...we went to the Iran v Iraq war museum. It was extremely interesting and graphic but yet another example of mankind being so cruel to each other.

A young guy studying to b an English teacher befriended us outside the library this afternoon. It was interesting to listen to his experiences of growing up in Iran.


Better put one photo of Narelle in the 'Hamam-e ganj ali kham' bathhouse. Better to keep the peace otherwise I might need that tank!!
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Internet connection is good here so tomorrow I will again post a good few photos.
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Re: Kane and Narelle's Iran Trip - 2013 (Part 1)

Postby Samaneh » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:35 pm

Gardens to desert

Very special event today as Narelle and I got to climb the main minaret of a small towns mosque just outside Kaman. Wow that was a privilege and an honour!

It was a very tight squeeze.

The view was worth it.
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Nice shot of Narelle at the gardens

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This 3 year old girl was practising her English with me. She could say: 1 to 10, hello, bye bye, photo, and as we were leaving out popped 'I love you'...very cute. She was there with her parents who had the day off work.
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This girl was selling almonds with her dad on the sidewalk. I think the face indicates she has not had the easiest life so far.

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Safety first in Iran! No wonder the road toll is 20,000 a year!



Broken down Iranian style. This location is where some of the world heat records were set at 70+ degrees celsius.

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This family was having a great time in the sand. They were just missing the ocean otherwise all the games were the same.

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Kane and Narelle

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Ben the reddish (rangar) colour of the rock reminded me of you.
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Re: Kane and Narelle's Iran Trip - 2013 (Part 1)

Postby Samaneh » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:42 pm

Silk Road Caravanserai

Like they did thousands of years ago, today we followed the Silk Road from Kerman to Zein-o-din. Passing many along the way, we eventually stopped at a Caravanserai (a stop along the route where camel teams stayed a few days - think modern day truck stop with a hotel attached).


The Caravanserai...As u can c it's in the middle of absolutely no-where. Nothing for as far as one can c.
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Our curtained off room for the night.

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The courtyard where the camels were tied up and the cargo temp offloaded.
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Off to Yazd tomorrow...
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Re: Kane and Narelle's Iran Trip - 2013 (Part 1)

Postby Samaneh » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:47 pm

On the road to Yazd
We met this guy yesterday who is cycling from NW Iran to SE Iran for fun and to promote cycling in a country that has very few cyclists. The 20 year old is taking a few months and will cover 3500 km through some of the most inhospitable places on Earth. You can read more about his wonderful achievement here: http://www.greenbike.ir


From our unique desert hotel to Yazd took about an hour. This is the site that greeted us!
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The wind cooling towers above the city's underground water storages
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A stop for lunch and I got to taste the speciality if the region...date icecream shake...very nice

Who said you can't get beer in Iran...?
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We have had a few opportunities to explore the higher reaches of the mosques including this on in the middle of Yazd.

Wonderfully lit up just after the days final prayer

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Re: Kane and Narelle's Iran Trip - 2013 (Part 1)

Postby Samaneh » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:56 pm

The most wonderful day!
Today was a forced 'Kane Day', meaning I spent the day doing stuff alone as Narelle wanted to do a city tour that I was not interested in.

So I chose to do some reading then I thought I would just walk the streets and see what the day would bring. About 10 minutes into my walk (wander) I was warmly greeted by two young Iranian students, whom I later found out deliberately walk slower so i would catch up and they could just say 'hello and welcome to Iran'. After a long conversation in the street I invited the two guys to join me for tea at a nearby shop. We had a great time chatting about Iran, Australia, politics, both of our way of thinking and living, food, sport, education and religion. It was a fantastic first-hand insight into the way the ordinary Iranian views their own country and the west and vice-versa.

The conversation over morning tea then rolled into lunch...

Of particular note I asked them where they saw Iran's future in 5 and 10 years. The response was mixed and right to the point. In 5 years they sadly envisage Iran being at war with Israel. They are also very concerned about the current nuclear issues. It 10 years they see a brighter future as attrition see's new Government leaders and ideas. They know the potential of this country is enormous but the population appears to just need that guidance.

Meeting these two guys just reinforces the reasons why I like to travel to different parts of the world. I now have two new friends and for just half a day we could share stories from different sides of the world and vastly different backgrounds/cultures.

Thanks to both these wonderful guys for making what could have been an ordinary day into one of the best days of this holiday and certainly one that I will remember.
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Re: Kane and Narelle's Iran Trip - 2013 (Part 1)

Postby Samaneh » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:01 pm

A Very Different Sport?

Tonight we went and watched the unusual sport of Saheb A Zaman. An Iranian sport that can only be described as a combination of gymnastics, body building, aerobics, singing and sunday school all rolled into one fun filled hour!


Now before u knock it, I am here to tell you these clubs are ridiculously heavy and the strength required to do this for even a minute is massive.

Below: now this was a little rediculous, bench pressing the barn doors Iranian style. Very unusual indeed but they all did it as part of the warm up.
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Below: the actual event lasts for about 5 minutes.
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Below: the clubs
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Below: the pants did not fit around the front, not that I am bragging
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